Bell Canada Seeks Permission To Collect Customers` Personal Information

Take note! Bell Canada, the country’s largest telecommunications group, is seeking permission to collect information from its customers’ mobile phones, internet usage, television viewing habits and app preferences.

Bell says it is following companies such as Google and Facebook in seeking to collect massive amounts of information about the activities and preferences of its customers nationwide. Bell began asking customers in December for permission to track everything they do through its services. In return, Bell says it will provide advertising and promotions that are more tailored to customers’ needs and preferences.

"Tailored marketing means Bell will be able to customize advertising based on participant account information and service usage patterns, similar to the ways that companies like Google and others have been doing for some time," the company said in a recent notice to customers.

If given permission by customers, Bell says it will collect information about its customers' age, gender, billing addresses, and the specific tablet, television or other devices used to access Bell services. The company will also collect the number of messages sent and received, voice minutes, user data consumption and type of connectivity when downloading or streaming.

Bell has said that customers aren't required to opt into its new marketing program, and even if they do, they can opt out later by adjusting their instructions to the telecommunications company. Canada`s federal privacy commissioner told CBC News that, to date, it hasn't received any complaints about Bell's new program.